Drugs Used for ADHD Linked to Heart Risks
About the ADHD Medication Study
According to Reuters, the study reviewed the health history of 114,647 children in South Korea, up to the age of 17, who had been prescribed medication for their ADHD.
The drug that the senior author of the University of South Australia, Nicole Pratt, and her colleagues looked at was of the drug, Methylphenidate, which is a stimulant that reduces impulsivity and hyperactivity in children with ADHD. Between 2008 and 2011 1,224 of children prescribed the drug developed cardiovascular problems for the first time.
Overall, 864 children developed heart rhythm problems, 395 had high blood pressure, 57 had heart attacks, 67 had strokes and 44 had heart failure.
The study concluded that the risk was only prevalent for the first 56 days of treatement. Pratt and her colleagues also stated that the parents should not change their childrens’ medication because of the study, but they should, however, consult their child’s doctor to find out the potential risks of using this drug as well as others.
Findings of the ADHD Study
- Cases of arrhythmia were 61% more likely to have occurred during the first two months of use than other periods of non-use (incidence rate ratio 1.61, 95% confidence interval 1.48 to 1.74, indicating that the increase in risk could lie between 48% and 74%), and risk was even higher in the first three days of use (2.01, 1.74 to 2.31).
- An increased risk for myocardial infarction appeared after the first week of treatment (2.50, 1.49 to 4.20) and persisted over two months. Cases of hypertension, ischemic stroke, and heart failure did not seem to be over-represented in the two months after the start of treatment with methylphenidate.
- The median age at first exposure was 11-13 and median age at first event was 11-13. Boys constituted 75-80% of each of the cohorts.